What really makes emails stand out in recipient inboxes?

Email marketing is one of the greatest ways to connect with your customers. Almost everyone has an email address — everyone! And a lot of people, me included (and possibly you), check their emails on a daily basis. 74% of online adults have actually said that they prefer receiving email over direct mail for commercial communications.

Studies have also found that 66% of online consumers have made purchases as a result of marketing emails.

So, email marketing is pretty amazing, but it’s also insanely competitive. There are 247 billion emails sent every day. This equates to one email every 0.00000035 seconds. Due to the heavy volume of emails received, a lot of them go unread. Consumers simply click select all — delete.

It’s a sad truth, but with hard work it can be avoided. In this blog post we are going to talk you through our three-step plan to ensuring that your emails really stand out in your recipients’ inboxes.

Step one: Great subject lines

The subject line of your email is the key to your customers’ inboxes. Even though you can land in your customers’ inboxes with a terrible subject line, the only way your email will be clicked on is if you have a great subject line. In fact, studies have shown that 35% of email recipients open emails based on subject line alone.

Here at Instiller, we’ve found that there are three ingredients that help create the perfect subject line.

1. Keep it short

If you keep your subject line short it will be easier on your customers’ eyes. After all, no one likes to be cut off from what they’re reading by ‘…’. You should also bear in mind that more and more people are checking their emails on mobile devices these days and so they want short, snappy information to grab their interest. We would recommend you keep your subject line as short as possible. 3 words is a great number to aim for as anything longer than this and the chances of your email being opened drop by 60%!

2. Keep it personalised

Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened. This is because it shows the recipient that you aren’t just sending out mass emails that will have no relevance to them. A lot of customers sign up for marketing emails because they want to receive special offers, therefore a personalized subject line will grab their attention as they will be inclined to think you have something to offer them, personally.

3. Keep it different

Be funny, be outrageous, even be weird if you want to. But, whatever you do, don’t be boring. Take a look in your own inbox and you’ll see hundreds of emails with similar subject lines. Things like:

  • 15% off everything
  • Free delivery until midnight
  • Sale items reduced!

Now, at first glance, these may look like perfectly reasonable subject lines. They are offering something to the recipient so they should click, right? Wrong. Customers have seen these subject lines thousands of times, and most of the time they have been false promises.

Show your brand personality to stand out. If you come across as fun and approachable in your subject lines then your recipients will open your emails as quickly as they would open an SMS from their best friend.

Step two: Perfect timing

Once you’ve created your awesome subject lines that are definitely going to get clicked on, the second thing you need to do  optimize when you send your emails. After all, you could send a great email, with a great subject line, and if your recipient is not around to see it, it will get lost amongst all of the others. Timing really is everything.

There are so many different industries, and so many varying customer demographics that it is hard to suggest a specific ‘Perfect Time’ for all marketing emails. However, studies have found that for B2B companies Thursday is the optimum day to send emails, and the optimum time is between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Seemingly before and after lunch as a way to reluctantly ease back into the working day! For B2C marketers, Wednesday appears to be the best day to send emails, and the most opens occur between 7 — 9 p.m. It is also worth mentioning that B2C emails are best received towards the end of the month when most consumers have just been paid and are looking to splash out.

The above are just loose statistics, as we previously mentioned every industry is different so you should definitely do a lot of research and testing with your current customers before deciding on a specific time and day to send out your marketing emails. Research has found that 23.63% of all email opens occur within the first hour of delivery. In the second hour this drops by more than half to 9.52%. By the 24th hour the chances of your email being opened are 0.63%. So finding the perfect time is crucial to making your emails stand out in your recipient inboxes.

Step three: Make it worthwhile

The final step in our plan is to make your emails worth clicking on! It’s all well and good having a great subject line, and sending your email out at the perfect time, but if your email doesn’t deliver what the subject line promises then customers will get wise to you very quickly. You may even get reported as spam.

Now, we don’t mean to sound accusatory, but it was worth mentioning. Let’s face it, we’ve all clicked on an email that promised ‘Free Delivery’ or ‘90% off’ only to find out that there was a pretty big catch.

The best way to make your emails stand out is to always offer more than the subject line promises. You could do this by hinting about promotions that are coming up in future emails, or by informing your recipients about other offers you have at the minute, that you couldn’t fit into the snappy subject line. This way, your recipients are always left wanting more, and when you pop up in their inbox again you’ll get click, after click, after click!

Closing thoughts

So, you’re now fully-equipped to take on the world with your email marketing campaigns! We’d love to hear about your success stories with our three-step plan so be sure to let us know how you got on.

And, as always, if you want any more advice on email marketing, no matter how small, get in touch with us at Instiller.

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